Sunday, September 27, 2015

My days are full of agony with swipes, smears, and smudges.

[Disclaimer to this post: This post includes an anatomically correct description of what takes place when a typical old man has trouble emptying his bladder. If the reader is squeamish, he or she is better off leaving this web page now before viewing it any further. However, out of respect for the guest who shall continue reading, certain parts of the aforementioned problem are censored away from the story. DA]


Somebody please help me! My oily skin always touches my Walmart Vision Center glasses and I can't take it any longer!

Here is the case analysis. On a typical day, the alarm wakes me at 8:00 a.m. I snooze to the bell until 8:02. Then I reach for a case, remove the distance glasses, and set them down into the ear gaps and over the bridge of my nose. Then I tilt my side to the left and poke at the corners of my right eyeball socket to dislodge the eye buggers. The right hand index finger slips out of the socket, pushes at the frame, and slides it a quarter inch down the long slope of my nose. I'm unaware of the sleight of hand. Accidental Lens Touch One occurs at 8:04. Automatically and instantaneously, the slip of the finger causes the unconscious appearance of Lens Smear One.

The stain is composed of 1) sebum, skin oil made up of wax monoesters, triglycerides, free fatty acids, and squalene; 2) rheum, the grimy sleep-induced discharge of mucous membrane from the eyeballs into the corners of the sockets, which contains mucus, dust, eyelid skin cells; and 3) teardrops, with their glucose, lactate, Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Cl−, HCO3−, urea, pyruvate, and ascorbate.

After picking out the sleep from the eyes, I get up out of bed to pee at 8:07. My Risperdal-induced head-smog begins to clear at about the three-minute half-way-done mark of the ongoing drips. Then all of a sudden, I focus my eyes on the bowl and see that freaking see-through spot which doesn't belong on top of a container of fluid that's supposed to be covered by an unbroken horizontal plane of solid, light-yellow dye, except for a few bubbles. Since I've only just begun my highly-irregular fifteen-minute routine of private stuff coming "out-o'-me-anatomy," I'm pissed off at the smudge because I'm too busy in the bathroom to address the irritant.

As soon as I'm done with the wake-up project, then the terribly long struggle with my glasses begins to take shape in the kitchen. The first smudge is much like the rest of them, but it only gets worse and worse. I grab a clean Walmart rag off the dish rack. It's half the size of my hand. My hands are not as dextrous as when I used to play the guitar. The ends like to flip over with one side doubled over the next. I struggle to unfold it. Then I poke a finger into the middle of it over the Walmart logo. Then I point at the smudge and swipe with the segment of cotton that's covering the finger. This takes several minutes to coordinate properly.

Then begins the maneuver of an ever-developing smear. Each swipe of a lens smudge makes a new smudge on a rag and a wider or thicker smear on a lens. As the day wears on, specks of dust never cease to appear. If I try to blow them off, my spittle adds some new kinds of content into the dirty mixture. At randomly-occurring, frequent intervals, some unknown part of my skin touches either of the lenses, be it left or right hemisphere, be it epidermis of finger, wrist, upper cheek bone, eyelid, or the frontal ridge of the skull on top of an eyeball socket. The rag smudges are barely visible to the naked eye, so I can't find a clean gap on a partially smudged rag until after I've smeared a smudge or thickened a smear with what used to be a vacant part of the rag. Before I know it, all four rags are ruined and both the reading and distance glasses are filthy.

I never feel like washing them, but when I do, I must wait until bedtime, because they take half a day to turn as dry as a bone. Cleaning involves scrubbing with soap, water, and the pot-scouring side of a sponge, rinsing, wringing, and hanging it on a rack rung. If I should swipe a smudge with a slightly moist rag, then a watery surface sets down upon the lens, and the only way to get rid of it is to wait until it dries.

It's taking me three days to edit this post. I can hardly read the screen on my laptop. Not only this problem, but my oily skin is abrasive and it's worn the stencil marks off every key except Q, Z, and X. I'm typing from memory from high school typing lessons. It's trial and error to position my index fingers over the hand position anchors, the F and the J. Sometimes I have no idea what I'm typing until after I press a wrong button.

It makes no difference whether I'm looking beyond my lenses through a layer of grease or water. The entire world is terribly smeared and speckled with see-through spots all throughout the day. I'm completely annoyed in public places because every man I approach has a wart on the tip of his nose!

I'm in dire need of advice! What am I to do?

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I am an advocate for people with disabilities certified to teach special education with a Master of Arts in Teaching. I am not a Licensed Psychologist or a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. When in doubt, seek the advice of an MD, a PhD, or a BCBA. My ability to analyze the ethics of ABA stems from the fact that I am disabled and ABA interventions are often done to people like me, which I voluntarily accept, but only when I alone am the person granting consent, and not a parent, sibling, guardian, or institution.